Monday, November 12, 2012

Diligent proofing always pays off

By Julia Sullivan, Creative Director

Proofing can be a painstaking process. Every mistake you miss comes back to bite you. In the Trigard marketing department, we review proofs many times a day. No matter what we're reviewing, we use the same diligence and checklist. Sure, errors still happen, even after a dozen people look at something. But following these guidelines help us keep those errors to a minimum:  
  • Print it out. Proofing tends to be more accurate when you're looking at a printout versus on the screen.
  • Check phone numbers and websites. Even if you look at them all of the time, give these extra attention.
  • Run spell-check. It seems obvious, but you'd be surprised how many times this step gets skipped.
  • Look at dates on a calendar. Is Tuesday really the 6th?
  • Lots of text? Read it backwards. Yes, you read it right. If you're editing a long story or newsletter, read the whole thing backwards, one sentence at a time. That lets you check each sentence for grammar errors without getting caught up in the flow of the story. When you read the flow, your brain skips over the little errors.
  • Check alignment. Since you're working from a printout, get our your ruler or even the edge of a piece of paper to check that things are all in the right rows. Don't trust your eyes!
  • Get another opinion. Even if you're sure it's great, have someone else look at it.
So how does good proofing pay off? The better you proof, the fewer reprints you'll have. And that's real cost-savings.

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